The winter blues are a real thing, but can often times be easily remedied. A getaway somewhere warm or – if you can’t afford the time or money – a run to the tanning salon to get some artificial sunshine is a simple cure to get your through February and what has been a terrible, terrible March in recent years.
But there’s no quick fix for the Super Bowl blues.
February marks the first month of what will be a long and painful stretch for football bettors, who have gorged on weekly pigskin since the fall. Whether it was college football on Saturday’s or the pros on Sunday, football was always there to watch and wager on. Now it’s not. And we feel dead inside.
No amount of NBA action or Madness in March can replace what football betting means to some. And don’t even start with hockey and the upcoming baseball season. A comment like that will get you the Cam Newton post-game presser treatment – icy cold. See, we just can’t let go!
If you miss football like the deserts miss the rain, feel free to climb under the covers with a big-ass tub of peanut butter/chocolate ice cream, put on your sweats with “JUICY” across the bum, and set the Boys II Men to repeat.
Or you can try to best your Super Bowl betting blues with these alternative (and probably destined to fail) options.
Super Bowl 51 betting
It’s a tough pill to swallow, tying up some money in a bet that will take an entire year to come through. But desperate people do desperate things.
Super Bowl LI odds (are they going back to Roman numerals?) have been out for a while now, with the New England Patriots as 9/1 favorites, ahead of Carolina, Pittsburgh and Seattle – all at 10/1. The defending Super Bowl winners, the newly-crowned Denver Broncos, are giving 20/1 payouts if they win back-to-back titles.
Given Denver was able to win the Super Bowl despite a lifeless offenses with Peyton Manning under center, shouldn’t the Broncos get a bit more respect with young gun Brock Osweiler making the passes?
Hell, there are seven teams that oddsmakers think are better than the Broncos less than 24 hours after they won a world championship. And one of them is the Bengals (18/1). C’mon, even Vontaze Burfict knows that’s a dumb move.
Sure, it’s technically NFL betting, in the sense that you’re betting on NFL activities. Think of it as dating a girl that vaguely looks like your ex that you’re still pining after. You poor, poor man.
The NFL Draft Combine (Feb. 23-29) has been a popular prop option for football-starved bettors and the list of options grow every year.
While no books have opened wagering on the NFL’s version of a beauty pageant just yet, you can be sure to find 40-yard dash and bench press odds, specific player props on the top college prospects and, of course, Rich Eisen’s 40-yard dash time.
Last year, the NFL Network star ran a 6.10 40-yarder, after setting a personal best time of 5.98 (running in a suit mind you) in 2014, which went Over the oddsmakers’ total of 6.08 secs.
College teams with NFL names
The Super Bowl blues are all in your head, which means you might have to trick your brain into thinking you’re betting on NFL. To do so, find some college hoops programs that share the same moniker as your favorite pro football team.
Here are some examples:
Dallas Cowboys = Oklahoma State Cowboys (11-12 SU, 12-8-1 ATS)
Denver Broncos = Boise State Broncos (16-8 SU, 10-12 ATS)
Philadelphia Eagles = Boston College Eagles (7-16 SU, 5-12-1 ATS)
Minnesota Vikings = Cleveland State Vikings (7-18 SU, 8-13-2 ATS)
Atlanta Falcons = Air Force Falcons (12-12 SU, 8-10 ATS)
Chicago Bears = Baylor Bears (17-6 SU, 5-11-1 ATS)
Carolina Panthers = Pittsburgh Panthers (17-5 SU, 9-10 ATS)
Arizona Cardinals = Louisville Cardinals (19-4 SU, 10-9 ATS)
St. Louis Rams = Colorado State Rams (8-15 SU, 8-11 ATS)
San Francisco 49ers = Charlotte 49ers (10-12 SU, 14-7 ATS)
New England Patriots = George Mason Patriots (8-15 SU, 9-11 ATS)
Detroit Lions = Columbia Lions (16-7 SU, 6-7 ATS)
Cincinnati Bengals = Idaho State Bengals (11-11 SU, 13-5 ATS)
Jacksonville Jaguars = Indiana-Purdue Jaguars (11-15 SU, 14-11 ATS)
Tennessee Titans = Detroit Titans (12-11 SU, 11-9-1 ATS)
Oakland Raiders = MTSU Blue Raiders (17-6 SU, 11-11 ATS)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers = East Tennessee State Buccaneers (15-9 SU, 11-7-1 ATS)
Seattle Seahawks = Wagner Seahawks (15-8 SU, 0-1 ATS)
No college ball teams with the nickname, “Redskins”. Nice to know there aren’t others out there like Dan Synder.
Half the fun of betting Super Bowl is sizing up some of the insane prop options on the board. If you miss handicapping the last decade in Gatorade baths, following Beyonce on social media for any hint at her Halftime Show outfit, and driving yourself mad with simulated coin flip after simulation coin flip, there are some other off-the-wall wagers you can make to kill the time between now and Week 1.
The Grammy Awards are February 15 and the Oscars aren’t too far off, both of which are already on the board at most online books. But if those award shows are still too mainstream for your taste, how about betting on when we prove alien existence (2016 is set at 25/1 while 2017 is at 100/1. What gives?), who will be released first: Julian Assange (-3,300) from the embassy or Steve Avery (+1,000) from prison, or which actor will be next to have a lead role on True Detective (Nina Dobrev 15/2, Elisabeth Moss 8/1, Bryan Cranston 10/1)?
Bet on Madden NFL 16
Before Super Bowl 50, the folks at EA Sports ran their annual Madden simulation, and unlike Super Bowl XLIX – when it correctly called the Patriots come-from-behind win in the “Big Game” – Madden 16 called a 24-10 win by Carolina. WRONG! However, it did call the Under in Super Bowl 50.
As a kid who grew up just when these sports sims were taking off – I’ve spent more hours playing NBA Live 95 and NHLPA 93 than sleeping – watching the progress sports games have made is remarkable. We also did a very detailed feature story on how accurate modern sports video games are getting and if they could be used to handicap real life games.
What’s crazy now is that you can openly wager on sports video games – better known as eSports – via sites like GamerSaloon.com. Sports gamers can put their money where their thumbs are by going head-to-head online in some of the top sports sims on the market – like EA’s Madden NFL 16 – for cash.
This isn’t actually “betting on” Madden, more like betting on yourself playing Madden, which could be a disaster depending on how much free time you have to play video games. But, if you’ve got a pre-teen son who is on the verge of becoming a virtual Jon Gruden, hand the sticks to him. Then not only does this scratch your NFL itch but counts as father-son time. Two birds, one stone.
Self-induced seven-month coma
Bears do it, so why can’t you.
Like the majestic Grizzly saying “f#ck it” to winter, grab a good hospital bed, plenty of Depends, and some in-home careworkers to flip you every so often like a grilled-cheese sandwich, and sleep away the offseason.
But make sure to set your alarm clock – or 8-inch needle full of adrenaline – early enough that you can get a good look at roster overhauls and game plan for your fantasy football draft before Week 1.
It’s going to be bad enough that you look like Rick from Episode 1 of The Walking Dead, you don’t want to draft a running back you didn’t know got hurt in the preseason. I mean, we don’t want to look like idiots… am I right?
**Editor’s note: Contains info from previous article Feb. 2015.
How are you beating the Super Bowl Blues? Toss your thoughts in the comment section below.